Sneak Preview: MGM Grand at Foxwoods

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    Introducing... MGM Grand at Foxwoods

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods The 30-story MGM Grand at Foxwoods will bring a new lodging, dining and entertainment experience to North America's largest gaming destination. It is slated to open in May of 2008 in Mashantucket, Connecticut. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    Come Along on a Hard Hat Tour of the New MGM Grand Casino/Hotel in Connecticut

    Update: The MGM Grand at Foxwoods is now the Fox Tower hotel. Foxwoods Resort Casino's partnership with MGM has ended.

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    When the MGM Grand at Foxwoods opens in Connecticut in May 2008, it will bring an upscale and exciting hospitality and entertainment experience to what is already North America's largest gaming destination. On January 25, 2008, About.com's Casino Gambling Guide Bill Burton and I donned hard hats for a tour of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods with Director of Hotel Operations Chris O'Connell and Public Relations Director Saverio Mancini.

    "We're really starting to feel it now," said O'Connell as he described the various components of the hotel/casino taking shape. The casino itself will be small. Taking its cue from Vegas, the property will focus on fine lodging and dining and a broad array of non-gaming experiences; it even has outdoor dining and function space...MORE and an outdoor pool. "One of the unique features of the MGM Grand is it's bringing the outdoors and the indoors together," O'Connell said.

    In these photos, I'll share more of what we learned and saw as we toured the construction site.

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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  • 02 of 23

    A Work in Progress

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino Hotel - A Work in Progress Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Foxwoods broke ground for the construction of its new hotel and casino in November 2005, before a branding agreement was negotiated with MGM. Although the new property bears the MGM name, it is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Connecting the Casinos

    People Mover Connects MGM Grand at Foxwoods with Foxwoods Proper - Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods MGM Grand at Foxwoods will be connected to Foxwoods Proper by a pedestrian concourse, seen under construction in this photo. The concourse's "People Mover" will allow guests to make the trip between the two casinos in less than one minute. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Pre-Function Space and Gelato

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Ballroom Entrance and Pre-Function Space
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods MGM Grand at Foxwoods will have 18,000 square feet of pre-function space here in the ballroom entrance area. The escalator at right leads to the business center and the Gelato Cafe, which will serve more than 20 flavors of Italian ice cream. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    The Northeast's Largest Ballroom

    Photo of Ballroom at MGM Grand Casino Hotel at Foxwoods in Mashantucket Connecticut
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods When it is completed, the 48,800-square-foot ballroom at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods will be the largest ballroom in the Northeast. It can accommodate 6,000 people for theater-style seating or 3,500 for a banquet. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    A Wild and Colorful Ballroom Floor

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Ballroom Photo - Wild and Colorful Carpet
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods About.com's Casino Gambling Guide Bill Burton tells me casinos have wild carpets so patrons will keep their eyes on the games. MGM Grand Director of Hotel Operations Chris O'Connell adds: It "helps with our maintenance" when something gets spilled. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Outer Space

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Photo - Pre-Function Space in Corridor Between the Ballroom and Casino
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods This corridor, with its "flying saucer" lights, separates the ballroom from the casino floor at MGM Grand at Foxwoods and provides additional pre-function space. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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  • 08 of 23

    A Vegas-Style Casino

    Photo of Casino Floor at MGM Grand at Foxwoods - Sneak Preview Hard Hat Tour MGM Grand at Foxwoods
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods "It's more of a Vegas-style casino," says MGM Grand at Foxwoods Director of Hotel Operations Chris O'Connell. The 50,000-square-foot gaming floor is ringed by retail outlets and celebrity chef-owned restaurants. It will have 50 tables and 1,400 slots. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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  • 09 of 23

    Shrine: MGM Grand at Foxwoods' Asian-Themed Hot Spot

    Shrine an Asian-Themed Lounge Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand at Foxwoods - Construction Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods It may not look like much yet, but this space just off the casino floor will be Shrine, an Asian-themed lounge, restaurant and nightclub. Boston's Big Night Entertainment will run the venue, which will open to the outdoor pool in the evenings. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Paint it Gold

    Hard Hat Photo Tour of MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino Hotel in Connecticut
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods When I took these photos in January of 2008, there were about 1,200 construction workers on-site at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods preparing the hotel/casino for its anticipated May 2008 opening. Just painting the gold trim around the casino is a big job. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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  • 11 of 23

    Model Hotel Room

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Model Hotel Room Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods The furniture is just being installed in the 825 guest rooms and suites at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Of the 825 rooms, 688 will resemble this model of the Deluxe Guest Room, which will have the option of a king, two queen or two double beds. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Many Amenities

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel Amenities - Free WiFi Flat Screen TV Mini Bar
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Amenities standard in the Deluxe Guest Rooms at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods include free high-speed WiFi Internet access, a 32-inch flat screen TV, mini bar, in-room safe, Apple iHome clock radio and a coffee maker. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Spacious Bathrooms

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel Photo Tour - Spacious Bathrooms
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Deluxe Rooms at MGM Grand at Foxwoods feature spacious bathrooms with robes and slippers. Although they don't have tubs, the shower enclosures are roomy and have a bench (a must for any woman who has tried to shave her legs in a shower stall). © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Chic Toiletries

    Pascal Morabito Toiletries at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel - Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods All hotel bathrooms at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods will be stocked with upscale toiletries made by Parisian perfumer and designer Pascal Morabito. The test tube-style design of the bottles and display is simple yet chic. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Outdoor Pool

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Outdoor Pool Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods The fan-shaped outdoor pool, which I photographed from the window of the model hotel room, will add to the Vegas-like appeal of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. MGM Grand is the first Connecticut casino that embraces the outdoors. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Suite Views

    Suites at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods - Photo Tour
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods The 137 suites at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods casino/hotel offer floor-to-ceiling windows with views of surrounding woodlands that will be particularly pretty in the fall. Suites are available in six different sizes and configurations. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Suite Dreams

    Hotel Beds at MGM Grand at Foxwoods - Suite Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel beds at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods will feature 300 thread count, 100 percent cotton linens. They'll be made up in triple sheet style with a loft blanket instead of a comforter. 24-hour room service will be available. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Soak It Up

    Photo of Soaking Tub in Hotel Suite at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino Hotel in Connecticut
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Many of the suites at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods feature soaking tubs or Jacuzzis--with a view!. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Performing Arts Theater

    Performing Arts Theater at MGM Grand at Foxwoods - Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Modeled after Hollywood's famous Kodak Theatre, the 4,000-seat Performing Arts Theater at the MGM Grand will add an incredible new entertainment space to the Foxwoods complex. There won't be a bad seat in the house!. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Versatile Venue

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Performing Arts Theater is a Versatile Venue for Concerts Shows Comedy Sports
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Foxwoods Public Relations Director Saverio Mancini says the Performing Arts Theater is a "versatile venue" that will host concerts, off-Broadway shows, comedy acts and sporting events such as boxing, ultimate fighting and indoor volleyball. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Dramatic Entrance

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Lobby Entrance - Photo
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods This dramatic port-cochere shelters the lobby entrance to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The hotel will begin accepting reservations in mid to late February 2008. Rooms at the MGM will be pricier than at Foxwoods' other three on-site hotels. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Controlled Chaos

    MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel Casino Readies for May 2008 Opening Date
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Christopher O'Connell, Director of Hotel Operations at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, says, "It's controlled chaos" as the hotel/casino's May 2008 opening date approaches. He assures: "We're absolutely on schedule; if we fall off track, we add more shifts.". © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.

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    Opening in May 2008

    Picture of MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino Hotel in Connecticut Opening May 2008
    ••• Sneak Preview Photo Tour: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Now that I've seen it taking shape, I can't wait for the MGM Grand at Foxwoods to open in May 2008. Much more than a casino, Foxwoods' new venture will provide an exciting and diverse entertainment, lodging and dining option in southeastern Connecticut. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    The MGM Grand at Foxwoods brings a new and exciting gaming and hospitality experience to Connecticut in May 2008. Enjoy a sneak preview on this hard hat tour.